GOP Blocks Bill to Help Murdered and Missing Native American Women

Outgoing Republican Congressmember Bob Goodlatte has blocked legislation aimed at improving federal response to the murders and disappearances of Native American women. The bill was sponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and passed unanimously in the Senate this month, but Goodlatte’s role as chair of the Judiciary Committee allows him to block voting on it in the House. Senator Heitkamp is exiting the Senate after losing her re-election bid last month, but Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has vowed to bring the bill back in the new year. The bill is called Savanna’s Act, named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who was brutally murdered last year when she was eight months pregnant, her unborn baby cut out of her womb while she was reportedly still alive.

The failure to pass Savanna’s Act comes as funding expired for the Violence Against Women Act—which is aimed at helping women who’ve survived domestic violence and sexual assault—amid the ongoing government shutdown.

H10 savanna lafontaine greywind

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Your Education Secretary, Rape-Apologist Betsy DeVos proposes overhaul to college campus sexual misconduct rules.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (2nd L) attends an East Room event at the White House October 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.
The new guidelines aim to give greater protections to accused students while giving schools flexibility to support victims who don’t file formal complaints.

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday proposed a major overhaul to the way colleges and universities handle complaints of sexual misconduct, adding protections for students accused of assault and harassment, and narrowing the types of cases schools would be required to investigate.

Under the plan, schools would be required to investigate complaints only if they occurred on campus or other areas overseen by the school, and only if they were reported to certain campus officials with the authority to take action.

The Education Department says the proposal ensures fairness for students on both sides of accusations, while offering schools greater flexibility to help victims who don’t want to file formal complaints that could trigger an investigation.

“Throughout this process, my focus was, is, and always will be on ensuring that every student can learn in a safe and nurturing environment,” DeVos said in a statement. “That starts with having clear policies and fair processes that every student can rely on. Every survivor of sexual violence must be taken seriously, and every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.”

DeVos previously said the existing rules were too prescriptive, pressuring schools to take heavy action against students accused of misconduct without giving them a fair chance to defend themselves.

The new proposal adds protections for accused students, giving them a presumption of innocence throughout the disciplinary process and the right to review all evidence a school collects. They would also be able to cross-examine their accusers, although it would be done indirectly through a representative to avoid personal confrontation.

If finalized, it will tell schools how to apply the 1972 law known as Title IX, which forbids discrimination based on sex in schools that receive federal funding.

In September 2017, DeVos rescinded a set of 2011 rules that were created under the Obama administration and guided schools on how to handle complaints.

Advocacy groups for victims say the Obama rules forced schools to stop brushing the issue under the rug, while advocates for accused students say it tipped the scales in favor of accusers. Some college leaders complained that the rules were too complex and could be overly burdensome.

Among other changes, DeVos’s proposal narrows the definition of what constitutes sexual harassment. It would be defined as unwelcome sexual conduct that’s “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

It also allows schools to use a higher standard of proof to determine if a student should be found responsible for misconduct. While the Obama guidance told schools to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, meaning the allegation is “more likely than not” true, the new proposal would allow a “clear and convincing” standard, meaning the claim is highly probable.

The department will collect public input on the rules before they can be finalized.

Timeline: The deadliest mass shootings in the US

Three of the deadliest mass shootings in the US modern history have occurred since October 2017.

Three of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States’s modern history have occurred since October 2017.

In February 2018, a gunman opened fire at a high school in southeastern Florida, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others.

In early November 2017, at least 26 people were killed in a mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, making it the “largest mass shooting in state history”, Governor Greg Abbott had said.

The shooting came about a month after Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500 others.

The three shootings are among the deadliest in the US since 1949.

Here’s a look at the deadliest mass shootings in the US over the last 30 years:

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas (2017): 58 killed

  • Attacker Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd of concertgoers at a country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 58 people and injuring 500 others.

Pulse nightclub (2016): 49 killed

  • A heavily armed man killed 49 people inside a gay nightclub in the city of Orlando on June 12, 2016.
  • The attacker, US citizen Omar Mateen, was killed in a gun battle with police. He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Virginia Tech (2007): 32 killed

  • A 23-year-old student, South Korean national Seung-Hui Cho, went on a rampage at Virginia Tech University in April 2007, killing 27 students and five teachers before committing suicide.

Sutherland Springs, Texas church (2017): 26 killed

  • A gunman opened fire on a Sunday morning church service in the small rural town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing at least 26 people and injuring 20 others. The youngest person killed was five years old.

Sandy Hook (2012): 26 killed

  • A 20-year-old American citizen, Adam Lanza, killed his mother in December 2012 before shooting and killing 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He later committed suicide.

Texas restaurant (1991): 22 killed

  • In October 1991, 35-year-old George Hennard, a US citizen, shot dead 22 people in a restaurant in the town of Killeen before shooting himself.

Florida high school (2018): 17 killed

  • A former student opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in southeastern Florida, killing at least 17 and injuring more than a dozen others.

San Bernardino (2015): 14 killed

  • A newlywed couple – US citizen Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, who was a permanent resident – stormed an office party at a social services centre in San Bernardino, California in December 2015, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others. The couple were shot dead by the police.

Fort Hood military base (2009): 13 killed

  • In November 2009, US Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire at his military base in Killeen, killing 13 people and injuring 42 others.

New York immigrant centre (2009): 13 killed

  • A Vietnamese immigrant, Jiverly Antares Wong, shot and killed 13 people at a civic centre in the city of Binghamton in April 2009, before killing himself.

Navy Yard headquarters (2013): 12 killed

  • Former serviceman Aaron Alexis, a US citizen, shot randomly at workers at the Washington Navy Yard headquarters in September 2013, killing 12 people before he was shot dead by police.

Aurora, Colorado (2012): 12 killed

  • James Holmes, a US citizen born in California, wearing body armour stormed a cinema showing a late-night premiere of a Batman film in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012, opening fire and releasing tear gas. Twelve people were killed and 70 others wounded. Holmes was sentenced to life in prison.

Columbine High (1999): 13 killed

  • Two American teenage boys – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold – shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher, before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Abortion protesters return to Portland, Maine after court rules against them

PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.

It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.

On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.

The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.

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Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha, Shit-faced Buddha: Tales of a Maine Streetnik seeking enlightenment on the drug-soaked streets of the wrong Portland. By N. Gowell

I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means of increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.”
William S. Burroughs

~

I left Maine last April and headed for the NW, my old Portland, Oregon drug-use=and=abuse neighborhoods, the Interzone in my own version of Burroughs Naked Lunch. I recall thinking (or rationalizing, perhaps) that, since i had been a serious Zen practitioner for the previous 4 years at Treetop (a Volvo-Zen center in Maine), sitting, chanting, bowing and unbending koans, that I could manage a return to the scene of my previous unraveling, switching my studies over to Refuge Recovery, Noah Levine’s newest recovery practice. Well, I’ve been on the streets (Central Maine, P-town) since I was just 16 and have not seen anything as bad as the grotty shite that i experienced this trip around to the North West. Even old friends, peeps I would have trusted 16 years ago with a Q.P. (quarter pound) of dope and 5K (in neat stacks of $100s, $10s, $5s, $1s, the occasional $50) alone in my house, these days I wouldn’t drop my backpack in front of and leave for five seconds; they’ve become like rabid rats on cheese over and up there.

Or am I just talking about me?

Because after only three weeks in the NW I’m on the machines gambling (well, that was once a bit of a problem.) The next thing you know and its 4 am and I’m at the porn store, across from Taco Bell, in the parking lot and in the viewing booths trying to score dope (speed). I met this chick across the way, “Prius Maelstrom,” and Prius, it turns out, is a dope peddler and following an exchange of yen, she gladly serves me (as we’re behind a fence hiding from her boyfriend [!], she, a bit twacked out. ) It was a short trip from that initial serve to me getting back into trafficking for Prius. In no time I was straight-up homeless, doing goofballs (a gram of coke and a gram of heroin) and just stinking of the streets. Then, Prius’ house suddenly burns down. Luckily her pitbull, “Saddam” saved her and the family’s life buy grabbing them by the necks and pulling them out of their beds.

~

I don’t spot junk neighborhoods by the way they look, but by the feel, somewhat the same process by which a dowser locates hidden water. I am walking along and suddenly the junk in my cells moves and twitches like the dowsers wand: ‘Junk here!”
William S. Burroughs, Junky

~

The city was being raped by addiction! Ken kesey must be in his grave rolling around, because this is not the city he departed from and gave so much energy to. This was a city being raped by a bunch of synthetic junkies. “Synthetics?” you say? Well, when I got into speed, it was either Propylene or Ephedra.. old-school labs/Chefs, and there were no bathsalts or Fentynal. I’d never seen speed where, like crack, you had to keep using, or like heroin, where you had to keep wiping your nose, carry around toilet paper.

Those few weeks that I spent on the streets of the Other Portland were like that, and then, the more deeper we got, the crazier shit got. Bodies kept piling up from overdoses and Street Life, itself. Shootings, stabbings… the more they kept tweaking the opiates and speed, creating a different strand, the more surreal it got. I mean, at 3 in the morning, I was watching people staggering through the streets like like they were in a George Romero movie. I watched gray dope take a spin in the park blocks, basically a different cook or molecule of Fentanyl and the bodies continued to hit the pavement like dupes at a Benny Hinn crusade.

I was just digging a deeper ditch; I mean, I was actually the first case treated in Peace health for NARCON RESISTANT DOPE; of course then, I just left, A.M.A. (against medical advice,) my middle initials. I remained out of control after hitting the Street; I was homeless and feeding a habit, with the local Drug Task-force taking an interest in me because of my prices; I had to keep selling to support my habit and I was going as low as $60 an 8-ball and $900 for 24 grams of black, $250 an ounce for white.

Meanwhile, my “good friend” Prius, the chick that I’d met at the porn store, the one who’s house had burned down, kept digging a deeper ditch as well. By June 24th, she fell into what resembled a really rough episode of the show “Breaking bad” and ended up busted and facing up to 6o years behind bars.

Nothing felt good after Prius got arrested – she’d become my road dog, my street partner, you know, so I went back to treatment. I actually did phenomenally well for a while, until a Confidential Informant showed up. This thug had put out paper on (ratted out) some of my people in the Park Block, and I ended up getting pissed and (again) thrown out of treatment , this time for taking that rat out, tattooing him.

~

“I am a ghost wanting what every ghost wants-a body-after the Long Time moving through odorless alleys of space where no life is, only the colorless no smell of death…Nobody can breath and smell it through pink convolutions of gristle laced with crystal snot, time shit and black blood filters of flesh.” 
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

~

So, a couple days after my birthday and I’m sitting with another good friend, another heroin dealer named “Helen,” who asks if I want to take a spin up to a neighboring city and pick up, like 48 grams and she would break me off a piece. I agree and we head out and when we get back its 10:30 pm and we’re in her car, out in front of the homeless outreach. She asks what my tolerance is, and I, of course, tell her “whatever,” because I have always had a high tolerance. She fixes me a shot and the next thing I know, its 4 am, and I’m in the ER and I’m coming out of it. A doctor tells me I am lucky because they barely saved my life, and I couldn’t believe it. I was on paper(parole), so I wanted out of there quickly and with no questions. I signed the paperwork and got in touch with Helen, who instructed me to meet her at the package store. When we meet up she tells me that when I’d overdosed that she’d hit me four times with NARCAN, and still got barely a heartbeat. She was freaking, so she’d dumped me off at the ER. She served us both and I forgave her. But other fucked up shit was already happening elsewhere in my view.

A friend staying in one of the rooms I stayed at got shot in the head by a Mexican rushing on speed; apparently someone there owed him 20 bucks. His victim was the most innocent kid there, a weed smoker who barely touched dope, (and young to get shot), all because this Mexican thug was rushing. The poor hippy kid sat on life support for a couple weeks and then his parents pulled the plug.

Around the same time another friend got septic from shooting dope. It was like the dope was eating her from inside out.. “Toxic Avenger” shit! You could actually see the flesh bubbling and melting. They ended up cutting pieces of her arm off and she eventually had to be put on life support. Until they pulled the plug on her too. In her case it was her and two other old-school addicts shooting from the same bag of dope, same amount, but, it must have been her time. She was the only one to get septic.

My friends and family, of course, after watching me exist for 20 years in this lifestyle didn’t think I was coming back to Maine, and with bodies dropping all around me from the heroin and the drug lifestyle that went with it, I got to the point that I almost didn’t make it out. By November I was planning on escaping back to Maine, back to the one-syllable state. At the last minute I won big in the lottery up in a local bar and bought an ounce of dope and just started partying – four days before the bus was supposed to leave! Then Helen disappeared.

Not good!! Paranoia setting in!! Shadow people!! Watching all movement!!

I checked into a detox the next day, with 3 days until my scheduled departure, just to make sure i would be physically able (and willing) to catch the bus. One of my good friends, a riotgrrl named “Viper” ended up putting me on the bus. I’d made it on, but I did have just a tiny bit of Crystal Meth on me. Just a tiny bit. On the bus, i actually hooked up with this stripper, “Charity Breeze” and we proceeded to get high together on the Greyhound, all the way to Saltlake. In Saltlake it turned out that the bus driver didn’t actually have a license to pilot a bus, so we sat waiting for 9 hours at the bus station. We finally started up again, but, by the time we hit Indianapolis, Charity was dope sick. We got off at the stop there and walked over to a Whitecastle, where my new friend proceeded to do a dope deal in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the thug that took the Charity’s money brandished a firearm and proceeded to rob her. Now, this stripper was no snitch, so we just got back on the bus, sick.

~

“In the words of total need: “Wouldn’t you?” Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.”
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

~

We ended up on different locations through the EC (the East Coast). My connection to Maine went through PA, and when I got there and I find out that it’s thanksgiving, I am pissed; I should be with my family in Maine by now, not a fucking bus station. Of course, since I was there until 6am I did a little mingling and ended up hooking up with this chick named “Mercedes,” who takes me to what they call “North side,” one curvy-ass road in some old-school grimy-ass projects. Of course someone called the cops, but Mercedes was running the show and it all worked out somehow; perhaps it was one of those Thanksgiving Day TV. miracles. Afterwards I proceeded to shoot heroin and crack until 6 am that was my Thanksgiving dinner, since I couldn’t be with my family and was stuck in PA.

I finally got home to Maine, and once back i played everything out like life was grand and my Complex P.T.S.D., as well as my many addictions and compulsions were under control. A big FAT LIE, of course. I did this, played this game all winter but ended up actually taking a dream job in NH in March. The place was straight-up Gentrification, utilizing the good ol’ boy system but with very limited money and services.

“People play it like its sophisticated and so fresh and so clean because its a college town! But really, u need adequate housing and a shelter where people aren’t scared to get stigmatized!! Affordable housing and sober living.”

Peer Support there, however, is phenomenal and “Serenity Center” is trying to perform miracles and slowly succeeding with little to work with; super cool people. At the hospitals, though, it’s “turn and burn”; they wont even give out ZYPREXA, treating it like a ticket of heroin.

Too much corruption- I swear its a federally-run dope game, kinda like Lily Pharmaceuticals teaming up with Nazi Germany and getting the methadone pattern with the Wizard of OZ behind the curtain. It’s like “the Truman Show” in NH. It needs to be more about loving kindness, not lining pockets.

So to say the least, I gave up the gig in NH and finally came home to Maine again, just three weeks ago. Of course, as soon as I hit P-town, I took a spin in the loony bin via the Maine Med ER; it was the best experience ever.

Now I am back to 100 percent!! Maybe 98. Or 97…

I’ll be fine. Swear.

Finis.

~

“The face of evil is always the face of total need.”

– William S. Burroughs

~

nixon

Trump trans ban tweet

In a surprise announcement, President Trump tweeted Wednesday he would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.  This is despite his pledge at the Republican National Convention last year that he would “do everything in [his] power to protect our LGBTQ citizens.”

This is Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Mara Keisling: “Well, it seems that what the president is saying is that he is going to fire 15,000 highly trained, motivated troops. It is a catastrophe for military readiness. But it is just absurd that he would think to do this—and do it apparently without consulting the Pentagon.”

Trump’s announcement appeared to shock even the Pentagon, which has directed all questions about the order to the White House. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said he learned of the policy change from Trump’s tweet. It came after Defense Secretary James Mattis said last month he would give generals another six months to determine whether to allow trangender troops to enlist.

A study by the RAND Corporation estimates gender reassignment treatments would cost the military between $2.5 million and $8.5 million annually—a minuscule fraction of the Pentagon’s $600 billion budget. By comparison, the total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to 10 times as much annually.

Trump allegedly looking into ways that he could pardon HIMSELF for his evil deeds.

Donald Trump boards Air Force OneThe US president says he has “complete power” to issue pardons

A lawyer for Donald Trump says the US president’s legal team is not looking at ways he could pardon himself.

“I don’t know where this came from. There is nothing to pardon,” Jay Sekulow said.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said he had “complete power” to issue pardons, following reports he had asked advisers about the scope of his authority.

Criminal and congressional inquiries are underway into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.